The City of St. Catharines is launching a brand new state-of-the-art emergency call handling system. The next generation server, called (NG-911), will be the first of its kind to begin servicing residents in Niagara.
The City of St. Catharines is launching a brand new state-of-the-art emergency call-handling system. The next generation server, called (NG-911), will be the first of its kind to begin servicing residents in Niagara.
“We have been planning the NG-911 project for the last few years and are looking forward to the efficiencies it will bring to the 911 system,” shared St. Catharines Fire Chief Dave Upper. “Our communicators will be able to take advantage of the latest technology available when assessing an emergency and dispatching the appropriate response once everything is in place.”
NG-911 will replace Ontario’s 30-year-old voice-based system. The new model will allow residents to utilize text, photos and videos to complete the various phases of communication with responders.
The new system will also include enhanced 911 caller location detection and better responder safety and awareness. It will offer higher quality response coordination during community-wide emergencies, and specialized communications assistance for those who do not speak English or have hearing-related disabilities.
The Niagara Independent reached out to St. Catharines Mayor Mat Siscoe for his comments.
“Embracing this modern technology is about creating a safer community where every resident can rely on advanced communication tactics for swift response in their times of need,” Siscoe said. “I am proud to say that the City of St. Catharines remains at the forefront when it comes to the safety and security of residents.”
The $5 million needed to set-up the new system, which has been mandated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), will be primarily covered by the Province of Ontario. St. Catharines Fire Services (SCFS), the Niagara Parks Police Service (NRPS) and Niagara Regional Police (MPSS) will bear the remaining cost.
The CRTC mandate requires that municipalities, provinces and Primary Public Safety Answering Point providers be ready to meet NG-911 standards by March 4, 2025, and legacy systems to be disconnected thereafter.
Those interested in learning more about Next-generation 911 can do so by visiting its webpage: Next generation 9-1-1
Nick Redekop completed his Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Labour Studies at Brock University. He has previously served in municipal and federal politics. In his free time, Nick enjoys following sports, taking part in outdoor activities, and reading biographies. Nick resides in Niagara Falls